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Aeolienne

Is going viral on the internet a genuine substitute for having friends?

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Gone home

@Aeolienne I agree.
I guess for the price of publicity it might bring them pleasure, but personally it doesn't sit right with myself. I wouldn't ask people I don't know for things - but obviously they would - and did

 

Edited by Gone home

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Peridot

A real friend is someone who genuinely wishes you well. ^_^ I like the story.

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Heather

I do not think it is a substitute for friends, no.  I don't mind the story, it is a sweet gesture of the sister to want to do something like that for her brother.  Though a few close friends are better than a lot of strangers giving you cards & gifts, in my opinion.

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Miss Chief
21 hours ago, Aeolienne said:

Remember Craig Shergold?

To be honest it reminded me of Hallee Sorenson which was a nice thing that happened not a bad thing, no I don't think it's a replacement for friends but if your 'so called' friends let you down as in Hallee's case then it can give you some hope that there are decent people out there, you just need to find them.

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Eliza

This young man knows his sister loves him.

By the way, he's so adorable! Thanks for sharing the link.

Edited by Eliza

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Aeolienne
3 hours ago, Miss Chief said:

To be honest it reminded me of Hallee Sorenson which was a nice thing that happened not a bad thing, no I don't think it's a replacement for friends but if your 'so called' friends let you down as in Hallee's case then it can give you some hope that there are decent people out there, you just need to find them.

What happened to Craig Shergold was originally a nice thing. He was a boy who had been diagnosed with (what was thought to be) terminal cancer and his last wish was to get into the Guinness Book of Records for receiving the greatest number of get-well-soon cards. This he achieved, and moreover the publicity surrounding his case caught the attention of a wealthy benefactor who paid for him to have a life-saving operation. That was twenty-five years ago. Unfortunately the original appeal for cards morphed into a chain letter which has been circulating ever since, and the cards keep coming (350m+ and counting). I would be genuinely concerned that something similar could happen with the appeal on Hallee's behalf. Once an appeal's on the internet, how can you take it back?

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Nesf
On 11/4/2017 at 5:52 AM, Heather said:

I do not think it is a substitute for friends, no.  I don't mind the story, it is a sweet gesture of the sister to want to do something like that for her brother.  Though a few close friends are better than a lot of strangers giving you cards & gifts, in my opinion.

I agree. Having a close friend or family member wish you happy birthday means a lot more that a stranger who is wishing you happy birthday not because they know you, but because they saw the appeal. It seems a bit false somehow, like all those 'friends' on Facebook who remember to wish you happy birthday only because the Facebook birthday reminder app reminded them to do so, and then they spend the rest of the year ignoring you because you're not part of your social circle. I like any social interraction I have to be meaningful, otherwise I don't see the point of it.

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Miss Chief

I think if people are going to put their address out there online, especially if you're stating that vulnerable people live there... then really they should setup a P.O. Box to use for like 1 year and then you can cancel it so any ongoing stuff would be returned to sender.

But other than purely the safety aspect of putting your home address out there, I really don't have an issue with it.

I did send Hallee a card and small gift because she was treated so badly by her so called friends (she had a party planned and everyone from her class was invited and not a single person turned up and I think they all said they were coming, it kind of felt like the whole class had decided to bully her collectively) and I thought it was nice to try an show her that there are decent people, who care even about a complete stranger and that she will get to meet some good friends in time. Hallee's mum put up a facebook post asking friends and family to please try an make up for the horrible experience and people shared it and it went viral and she got cards from all over the world but significantly Hallee's family never really intended it to go viral. 

I probably won't send James a card because it feels a bit different... he hasn't been mistreated or bullied (well he might have been but that doesn't seem to be what this is about) but it feels a bit like someone is trying to cash in on things, or to jump on the band wagon. To be honest I am not sure how comfortable I would have been with being the subject of something viral as someone on the spectrum, it is an awful lot of attention and 21 is pretty young to be dealing with it all. I don't think I would be very happy if someone did this to me... it would mean that almost everyone I met (certainly locally since all the local news has covered it) would already know things about me, not least of which that I have Autism. It just feels different this time and I feel less desire to do it. Obviously none of this has anything to do with James... it sounds like his sister came up with the idea on her own (she said she has taken part in similar things in the past so I assume she was inspired by Hallee's story since that was quite recent), perhaps James is just putting up with it or pretending he's happy about it so as not to hurt his sister's feelings.

However, with all that said I still don't have an issue with people doing this (even deliberately trying to go viral), as long as they understand the risks of putting their address out there and all parties are on board with it (including the recipient), it's not really a nasty thing... it is done with good intentions, she just wants her brother to have a memorable birthday, and who knows he might even get some nice letters and make some friends, he might have an easier time making friends via letter/email than he does in person.

As a final comment we should probably be careful what we say about this since James is on the spectrum and from the UK he could be a member here (we have a lot of UK members) or even someone who just reads the site ;) 

N.B. I just checked and she didn't use their home address, they used a c/o business address (a solicitor of all things) presumably a family member works there (yep the director of the company is Chris Weir) so all my going on about security issues, she did think that through :) 

If anyone does want to send him a card etc here is the address:

            James Weir
            ℅ Waring and Co
            Churchgate House
            Churchgate
            Bolton
            BL1 1HL
            U.K.

* the symbol (℅) isn't showing up very well; it's the 'Care of' symbol which is a superscript 'c', a normal '/', and a subscript 'o'... without the super/sub script it looks like: c/o.

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DavidTheWitch

No.

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